The Hague, 04 March 2022 / EZPress/ In the near future, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will investigate the extent to which network operators can prioritize projects that make a positive contribution to the energy transition at new connections and when introducing transmission capacity. Prioritizing, for example on the basis of sustainability criteria such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions, is also referred to as prioritizing.
The ACM expects to publish a draft decision in July 2022 to determine the maximum duration of new connections to the regional electricity grid. In preparing the draft resolution, ACM is explicitly considering options for network operators to prioritize communications that contribute to the energy transition. This has also been discussed in the discussions that ACM is having with network operators and other players in the sector in preparation for the new network code.
Criteria for determining reasonable conditions for communications must be objective, reasonable, verifiable and transparent and must be compatible with European non-discrimination requirements. After all, network operators are not allowed to unjustifiably distinguish between different types of users. In the near future, the ACM will conduct additional research on how to implement prioritization.
If network administrators are allowed to set priorities, they can prioritize sustainable input and consumption from the network. Nutrition may include connecting wind or solar parks as a priority issue. Sustainable purchases might include charging stations for electric cars, for example. Grid operators can also prioritize storage of batteries that can be used to store locally generated renewable energy. This can also reduce the problem of transportation scarcity (congestion).
Prioritize transportation capabilities and investments
According to the ACM, network operators can frequently use congestion management to make better use of the available throughput. In 2022, the ACM will publish the new network code, which explains how, when and under what conditions network operators should implement congestion management. If the transmission capacity shortfall cannot be (temporarily) resolved by congestion management, network operators may refuse to transmit electricity. As a follow-up to the new network code, ACM will also investigate the extent to which network operators can prioritize and allocate transmission capacity on the basis of sustainability criteria.
Congestion management and transmission prioritization are temporary measures for the period when the grid operator is upgrading the power grid. Grid operators will have to make significant investments in the coming years to modernize the electricity grid. The investment plans submitted by network operators to ACM in 2020 showed that the investments lagged behind projected demand for transmission capacity. Since the problem of delayed investments is not expected to diminish for the foreseeable future and prioritization can affect a wide range of public interests, the ACM considers it important for the legislator to establish a framework for this so that network operators can prioritize their investments based on this. ACM is pleased to discuss this matter with all interested parties.
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